Public urged to report dangerous ‘ice’ labs 09-16-04

HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
EAST HAWAII CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION DIVISION
CAPTAIN SAMUEL THOMAS
PHONE: 961-2251
SEPTEMBER 16, 2004

MEDIA RELEASE

After busting four clandestine “ice” labs over the past week, Big Island police are encouraging the public to call the Vice and Drug Hotlines to report distributors or manufacturers of crystal methamphetamine, or “ice.”

Captain Samuel Thomas, head of the East Hawaii Criminal Investigation Section, said residents should call the hotline number in East Hawaii, 934-”VICE” (934-8423,) or the one in West Hawaii, 329-”ZERO-ICE” (329-0423). If they prefer, residents may call the police non-emergency number at 935-3311, Thomas said.

“We are extremely concerned about the increasing number of clandestine “ice” laboratories on the island,” Thomas said.

Noting that “ice” labs can be dangerous to those living around them, Thomas said: “It’s important for property owners to be vigilant against such activity, and anyone who believes there may be an ‘ice’ lab nearby should call the department immediately.

“The chemicals used in an ‘ice’ lab may be extremely toxic and in many cases produce materials classified as hazardous waste.

“The cleanup of ‘ice’ labs may cost in the tens of thousands of dollars, or even higher, and may render the location in an unsalable or unlivable condition.”

Thomas noted that over the past week, East and West Hawaii Vice Section and Ice Task Force officers have busted four crystal methamphetamine laboratories — one in Kona and three in Puna.

About 6:05 a.m. Tuesday (September 7, 2004), officers of the West Hawaii Ice Task Force, aided by officers of the West Hawaii Vice Section and Airport Smuggling Unit, executed a search warrant on an Onaona Drive residence in Kalaoa, North Kona. They arrested a 28-year-old female suspect after observing what appeared to be crystal methamphetamine, or “ice,” and other chemicals and drug paraphernalia that made the residence appear to be an ice lab.

The suspect’s residence and an adjoining residence were evacuated, and a crime lab team was called in to process the lab.

After three days of processing the lab, officers recovered 1.1 grams of dried marijuana and 0.1 of a gram of crystal methamphetamine. They also recovered 12.6 pounds of a liquid substance that tested positive for methamphetamine. Another 7.5 pounds of a liquid substance that tested positive for methamphetamine was recovered from a vehicle parked at the residence.

Chemicals used in the manufacture of “ice,” such as acetone, iodine and denatured alcohol, as well as sudaphed tablets, were recovered.

Because several unknown chemicals were found, an environmental cleanup company was called in from Honolulu to dispose of the substances.

The suspect, identified as Christie Alesna, of an Onaona Drive address, was arrested on four counts of promoting a dangerous drug, five counts of illegal possession of drug paraphernalia, two counts of promoting a dangerous drug and, because of the presence of an elderly man and woman and an 11-month-old infant, three counts of reckless endangering. The suspect was later released pending further investigation.

At 2:30 p.m. Friday, officers from the East Hawaii Vice Section and Ice Task Force, assisted by agents from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) and the State Public Safety Department’s Narcotics Enforcement Division, executed search warrants at three different residences in the Puna District.

A warrant executed at an Opihi Street residence in the Hawaiian Shores subdivision resulted in the arrests of two individuals.

West Hicks, a 44-year-old Hawaiian Beaches resident was arrested and charged with promotion of a dangerous drug, promotion of a detrimental drug and illegal possession of drug paraphernalia after residual amounts of “ice,” chemicals and paraphernalia associated with an “ice” lab and marijuana were found on his person and in his vehicle. A second suspect, identified as Clyde Malani, 42, of a Pahoa address, was arrested and charged after a search warrant resulted in the recovery of a 30-30 rifle and crystal methamphetamine. Hicks is being held in the Hilo police cellblock in lieu of $100,000 bail, and police are working with BATF agents in seeking federal prosecution of Malani.

A second warrant was served at a Maikoiko Street address in the Hawaiian Beaches subdivision. A 52-year-old suspect, John Moniz, was arrested and charged with promotion of a dangerous drug, commercial promotion of marijuana and illegal possession of drug paraphernalia after officers found what is believed to be a clandestine “ice” lab and chemicals, 8.2 grams of “ice” and 279 marijuana plants. A 47-year-old female resident, Leilani Hackbarth, was also arrested and released pending further investigation.

A third warrant served at an Oahu Street address in the Nanawale Estates subdivision resulted in the arrests of two adult males and two adult females for promotion of a dangerous drug and illegal possession of drug paraphernalia after a residual amount of “ice” and articles associated with an “ice” lab were recovered.

The four suspects arrested were identified as Lionel Tarape, 54, Donna Tarape, 52, Debra Lane, 49, and Robin Cabalis, 34. All of the suspects except Cabalis were released on the drug and drug-related charges pending further investigation. Cabalis is being held for two outstanding warrants for contempt of court against him.

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